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More than 2,000 libraries across Canada will help children retain or improve their reading skills this summer with free reading program TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - Kids across Canada will be immersing themselves in the world of their favourite spies and super sleuths all summer long as part of the 14th annual TD Summer Reading Club. TD Bank Financial Group is partnering with Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library to bring this award-winning reading club to more than 250,000 children across the country, keeping the love of reading alive throughout the summer break. TD has committed, over a three-year period, a $2.7 million investment to help Library and Archives Canada and the Toronto Public Library run the TD Summer Reading Club through to 2011. This year also marks the addition of the CNIB to the program in an effort to increase accessibility for children with vision loss to the program. This year's theme is Agent 009. All participants will receive their own personal "spy kit" - a reading kit that contains a colour poster, sticker sheet, and a log book to keep track of their progress. To encourage participation, many local libraries will also offer reading games, challenges and discussions, book-related crafts, author visits and storytelling sessions. "Encouraging kids to keep reading at a young age will ensure that they have an essential life skill to help them succeed in an increasingly competitive and demanding world," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group and TD Literacy Champion. "Studies show that many young Canadian children are behind in their vocabulary development. TD is committed to helping libraries across the country spread the word on the value of reading and to help build a greater future for our next generation." The program promotes reading skills to children aged twelve and under and libraries choose the books to fit the appropriate age levels. "Our goal is simple: we want to encourage children to keep reading throughout the summer months," said Ken Setterington, Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services, Toronto Public Library. "Programs like the TD Summer Reading Club create a great learning environment for kids to develop their reading skills while doing so in a fun manner." Last year, more than two million books were read by participating children. This year, Library and Archives Canada hopes to surpass that number. "The benefits of encouraging children to read far outweigh the challenges," said Donna Sianchuk Director General, Programs Branch, Library and Archives Canada. "Teaching the value of reading is a responsibility that is shared by everyone including parents, teachers and mentors to inspire our children to master this skill." Each year, the TD Summer Reading Club and Library and Archives Canada recognize four libraries (two English and two French) across Canada for their outstanding execution of the program with the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards. The 2008 winners of the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards with a prize of $5000 each are: - Laurentian Hills Public Library-Point Alexander Branch in Deep River, ON; - Bibliothèque de Dudswell in Marbleton, QC. In second place, each with a prize of $2,000 are: - Reid-Thompson Public Library-Wapiti Branch in Humboldt, SK; - Bibliothèque Léo-Pol-Morin in Cap-Saint-Ignace, QC. The 2009 program, available in English and French, is being offered by libraries in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut, Northwest Territories and the Yukon. All 400,000 free reading kits that will be distributed across the country will be printed on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper stock. In recognition of its success at bringing children and books together, the TD Summer Reading Club has previously received the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence. For more information about the TD Summer Reading Club, please visit TD Community Giving: Making a Difference Together Children's health, literacy and education, and the environment are the three main areas of focus for TD's community giving. Flagship programs within these areas include: TD Children's Hospital Fund; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; TD Canadian Children's Book Week; TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Community Leadership; and the TD Summer Reading Club. With support from customers and employees, TD is involved with a host of national, regional and local causes benefiting diversity, arts and culture and other community programs. In 2008, TD donated $35 million to more than 2,100 organizations across Canada. About Library and Archives Canada Library and Archives Canada is one of Canada's newest and most innovative national institutions, dedicated to providing Canadians with a single window into the richness of its documentary heritage. As part of this national role, LAC supports, develops and works together with Canada's library and archival community, fostering a love of learning and delivering programs and services that meet the needs of all Canadians. About Toronto Public Library Toronto Public Library (TPL) is proud to be the creative force behind the TD Summer Reading Club. As the busiest public library system in North America, every week over 300,000 people visit its 99 branches and borrow more than half a million items. TPL has a distinguished history of providing excellence in children's library services. /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on the CNW Photo Network and archived at Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive website at Images are free to accredited members of the media/ For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Ashley Curran, GCI Group on behalf of TD, (416) 486-5923,; Gregory Harrison, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-8597,

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